Mark Weissmann - Outstanding Community Member Award
2017 Chai Society Community Mitzvah Awards
Mark Weissman has been a faculty member at Staten Island Academy for 27 years. His passions for music and theater have helped him develop a thriving and rich arts curriculum at the Academy. As Chairman of the Arts, Mark oversees both the performing and visual arts programs there, while teaching music and theater to students from grades 5 through 12. He directs and produces three major productions a year.
Mark was raised in Metuchen, NJ, where his love for the arts was fostered by both his family and his educators. At Muhlenberg College, Mark majored in Music and Theater where he performed major roles in many of the main stage productions and became the first student to musical direct a production at the college. After college, Mark received his Master’s degree in Musical Direction for the Theater from Illinois State University.
Growing up, Mark was an active member of his local synagogue, singing with the choir and reading Torah throughout high school and choir. For seven summers, Mark enjoyed further exploring his Jewish identity at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, a camp designed for Conservative Jewish youth. Mark continues to sing with the choir at his current synagogue, Temple B’Nai Israel in Millburn, NJ.
Mark has always been interested in teaching music and theater in a socio-political context, exploring how the world around artists influenced their work. Last fall, Rachel Roth visited with middle school students at Staten Island Academy and shared her experience as a child of the Holocaust. Her visit inspired Mark to create “Butterflies and Children”, an exploration of music, literature and art that developed from children of the Holocaust. With the collaboration of his amazing arts faculty, and utilizing firsthand accounts of children who survived, poetry written by children of concentration camps, stories written for children about the Holocaust and images created by children of the camps, the Academy’s 5th and 6th graders presented an emotional evening of song, poetry, story and image reflecting the experience of the Holocaust through the eyes of a child.
Mark currently resides in West Orange, NJ, with his beloved husband Richard Johnson and their two adorable dogs, Roscoe and Gracie.